Monday, May 14, 2012

Mum says smiled.

My Mom says I smiled at her the day I was born.

The doctors said it was gas, but she knows it wasn't.
and judging by how I feel about my mother... I know it wasn't either.

My mom came from England long time ago and married my dad. 
Because of this fact, I had the honor of having a mother who couldn't work (and wouldn't even if she could have legally)
I got cookies most days after school, and I remember smelling them while I ran down the looong driveway we had in our old country house.

My mom gave birth to 7 BIG babies. I rang in at the second biggest, somewhere between 9 and 10 pounds. As I get closer to having babies of my own... I hope that she doesn't pass along that trait.

Some of the traits she did pass along, however, were the ability to love anyone, a magic touch with horses and animals, a love for herbal tea and crumpets (im not kidding) and a love and respect for my father, her husband.

I am extremely grateful to my mother for all that she did/has done/will do for me.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012



My trip in a few pictures
 (NOW, when I say a few... I mean I took HUNDREDS!)

I don't have any photos of me in my "temple trip" dress yet... coming!

La Jolla



DISNEYLAND With the Campbells!

Time with my love.


Tea Cups!

Group Shots

Random Shots.



And THIS MONKEY! - We stood in amazement at the San Diego Zoo for alomst an hour and watched this little guy use sticks, big sticks, little sticks, and reach and reach and try to pull a little peanut from outside the him. hilarious.

Thats all I can muster for now folks. my job involves typing... all day... so im not totally feeling it right now... but everyone loves pictures...right?



Saturday, May 5, 2012

.Believe In Change.

Hey Team,

I bet I had you worried!

Just kidding, you know im always fine.

So its been 3 and a half months since I got my diagnosis. 3 months since I stopped all my medications, and began my own healing process.

I had to believe in the power of change.

It has been a roller coaster the last few months. definitely. I have a strong husband who keeps me afloat, and my religion to keep me moving.

Some of the perks of going off of all meds have been:

  • I sleep like a dream. honestly, I can be asleep in 5 minutes flat. its like nothing I have ever experienced.
  • I dont have to remember to take my pills (good. im lazy anyways!)
  • On the days I feel good, I feel like "wow... this is me. im happy all on my own!"
  • I can have kids some day without complications from those medications (fingers crossed)

Like I said, thats just some.

Some of the unfortunate things about going off of medicine.

  • Getting used to what it feels like to be "me" all on my own.
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • I cry. a lot. for some reason all of my emotions have starting showing themselves in all situations. I'm talking everything from sad movies to commercials. sad stories to sad thoughts. in a way its O.K. I mean, not crying for years and years can get a little old.
  • and finally, "off days" - I used to have off days a lot. most days. but now the off days get a little less intense, a little less often. a little more manageable. things get better day by day. 

I felt really crushed by my diagnosis, but upon further though, prayer and talks from family and friends, I have felt like maybe I can bypass this. I'm not saying that the psychiatrist that diagnosed me was wrong. I'm also not saying that I am in the clear.  I think that I had/have all the signs of someone with bipolar disorder. I also think that thousands of people live their whole lives without the privilege (or curse) of bieng diagnosed or "labeled"  with this illness when they have it.

Every time I have a sad day, an off day... I get scared that I'm slipping. that I have only been doing so well because I have been manic, that every "success story" I have is fake, and I'm destined to fail eventually. I am trying to get that out of my head.

Its getting easier to fight this. I AM NOT a perpetual screw-up. I AM NOT letting myself live on a textbook diagnosis. I WILL WIN.

I Believe In Change.

I am going to cut down on these kinds of posts and move on to the happier things. coming up (after I edit some pictures):
T and I recently went to san Diego to get religously sealed for time and all eternity! my nephew Lorenzo just turned one! DISNEYLAND with the Campbell's! Engagement session with my brother and his gorgeous fiancé! so much coming up! I don't have a phone (long story) but I will be back!


Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am tapering off of my Zoloft very quickly...

And it's hitting me pretty hard.

I'm going from a relatively high dose of anti depressants and anti anxiety meds, to absolutely nothing in a matter of less-than a week.

It's not supposed to go like that... These drugs are hard to get out of your body... Vertigo, depression, anxiety attacks, headaches, agitation...

On the up-side I am sleeping.

On the down side... I'm having trouble getting out of bed.

I'm lucky for the fact that, I love my job. I love coming in... It keeps me busy, and that's what I need right now to prevent a total crash.

I have had an amazing outpouring of support from people I love and care about, even people who I have lost touch with, I have cried over so many loving words.

I'm not alone.

I'm sorry if I don't respond individually to you... Please understand.

I'm not a "chatter" in real life... I have mastered the art of "grin and bear it" ... It's hard to talk about a mental illness and not feel... Well, crazy...

I'm trying to keep it to this blog... Keep my feelings here.

For now.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not My Year Anymore.

So yesterday I walked into Dr Chokka's clinic, hoping I would walk out with a plan for getting off of the Many meds I have been on the last few years. Hopeful that I could move on.

4 hours, and many MANY doctors and tests later...
I sat across from Dr. Chokka knowing I wasn't getting out of his perfectly furnished office without a new diagnosis... And then he said it.

"we've determined that you have the classic signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder."


" you knew that was a possibility, right?"

"well, it crossed my mind"

Truth is, it had crossed my mind many times... I have the highest highs and the lowest lows. I lose twenty pounds and then can't get up to work out.

I couldn't help it, I started crying.
He told me I needed to get off of my anti depressants... Because they can make the highs and lows more exaggerated...


Then he told me I would need to go back on Seroquil.

Not good.

I went on seroquil once before, for a few days... It was terrible. Awful.

But Dr C said it was the best way to go, and also asked me if I wanted to be part of a study for a new drug that would be paired with seroquil.

"It is a double blind test. You could be getting the pill, you could be getting a sugar pill... The good news is, we will be watching you very closely... Weekly, doing blood tests, full body exams, ct's..."

I phased out again.

In the end I signed up to do the study. Why not... If I can help people...I'm in.

When I drove up to the train station to pick up T, he wasn't there yet. I put the car in park, climbed into the passenger seat and started crying.
I cried until 7pm when I finally fell asleep.

T helped immensely. He always has... And he assured me he always will.

Truth is...

I'm sad.
I'm disappointed.

I'm not quite at the hopeful stage yet. When people can say "lots of people have this and lead normal lives with children and everything" and I believe them.
I'm angry.

This was supposed to be my year.

Now what?


Sunday, February 5, 2012

The next chapter.

So i want to tell you all why this year is going to be so big for me.

It took a long time for me to decide if I should post this or not. some fault me for being such an open book on here. well, This is what I need now, and will need to get through this next chapter. I have great support systems, a great family, loving husband, sweet puppy and doctors... but this is my space...and I need it.

I have been on quite a few meds for a few years now.

I will list them here and the various reasons that I take them... (I take various doses and some I only take "as needed")

Sertraline: a selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor commonly prescribed as an antidepressant (trade name Zoloft).

    • Zopiclone: (brand name Imovane in Canada, and Zimovane in the UK) is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agent used in the treatment of insomnia.

    Lorazepam: tranquilizer (trade name Ativan) used to treat anxiety and tension and insomnia

    Clonazepam: helps relieve nervousness, tension, symptoms of anxiety, and some types of seizures by slowing the central nervous system. In the United States, clonazepam is sold under brand name Klonopin.

    I have been prescribed a few other pills on a "trial" basis to help with my anxiety and depression... some didn't last long. side affects are hard things to deal with.

let me also get this straight... I am not proud of my anxiety. My inability to translate real life into something that doesn't terrify me, make me lose sleep, give me panic attacks.

I am an open, friendly person.. not a lot of people know how badly I struggle.
I am however, one of the "lucky" ones... I am able to hold down a job that I enjoy, and a few friends that know intimately what I deal with daily.

and if your thinking "I know her... she doesn't seem like that at all"

Think a little harder.

I have been on a lot of adventures...
This one is different.
I am not going backpacking across south america, Im not getting married, im not running a marathon.

This year I plan to get off of all of these meds... and start really thinking about the future of my family.

    I started this year with the little things to turn my life in a different direction.

    I stopped drinking coffee
    I started dieting and exercising

    I have been doing daily guided meditation...

    I Know that it is going to get harder to do (or not do) these things as I start this "weaning" process... nothing is better than a hot coffee when you haven't slept in two days.

    The next step was to meet with my doctor to discuss my options to moving away from my meds.
    he wasnt super helpfull. he suggested that if I wanted to "expand my family" that I could simply move to a different type of anti depressants, ones that had a "lesser chance" of birth complexities.

    not good enough.

    My next step was my OBGYN. she gave me some great information... told me more truth about the uncertainty of a lot of these meds with pregnancy. she also told me that many women do need them. happy mom, happy baby, healthy mom, happy baby.
    Makes sense.
    But again... its not good enough.

    Let me re-iterate something here... This is NOT an announcement.
    no babies in the near future. just prep-work.
    I have a hubby to get through school.. and a long road ahead of me.

    My OBGYN made my next step a referral to a well known psychiatrist. Dr Chokka.

    "Dr Chokka specializes in the treatment of mood, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and women’s reproductive health. As the lead in over 60 clinical trials, he has lectured and presented his research in these areas at major conferences, nationally and internationally."

That appointment is this Tuesday..

So join me as I make my big and little life changes.

join me as I move away from my anxiety... and get on with my life.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

3am. Insomnia story.


It's been a while.

Since 2 or so, I have been laying in my bed, listening to my dog snore softly and my husband shift every so often. Listening to my heart pound. At 3am I decided morning is here to stay...


I have struggled with insomnia since high school... Too much on my mind I guess.

Don't get me wrong, it comes and goes... There are times when I can't get enough sleep... Those times are just as tough, but much less boring.

I have an "active brain"
Anxiety takes a toll.
I remember being in high school and 3am was my best "writing time". I would sit at my electric keyboard with my headset on... And play.
My grades suffered, but they always had, I survived on coca-cola and late night chats with friends.

When I went to college, insomnia was my friend. Who didn't like a college student who didn't sleep?
What college student needed sleep? I was always up to the early hours, clearing bottles, and mentally prepping for an 8am anthropology class.

When Tay and I were dating I loved having him to text through the night, love is a good reason to be awake.

But when the desire to sleep for days came back and took over, T and I decided it was time for meds.
Side affect: insomnia.

Long story short... I have been taking sleeping pills for years.
Now it's hard to function without them.

I need to figure this out.

I have tried literally exhausting myself at the gym and with studying...

Well... That was earlier this evening.

Now my body is exhausted.. But my brain is shaking.

Shhh brain... It's almost 4... You will be up and at work soon enough.

Today will be a good day.

Day 24 sans coffee.

Bring it.